tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 28, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT
by the way, do you agree or not that ann coulter that sarah palin has more influence than the president? go to whoisright.com/larryking and weigh in. bob woodward, wednesday night. kathleen parker and eliot spitzer, our new dynamic duo on thursday night and go to our blog to send in your video or written questions for them. cnn.com/larryking. "a c360" and anderson cooper, right now. anderson? >> larry thanks. thanks for watching. begin with breaking news. as you mentioned, president obama's right-hand man chief of stuff rahm emanuel all but certain to be stepping down. sources say he'll be running for mayor of chicago. got two of the best political team on television to talk about it, what it means for the white house. they will weigh in. also, politicians distorting the truth in hopes of winning your view. you'll see which politicians are playing fast and loose with the facts and how they selectively edit videotape in their commercials to do it. we're keeping them honest, a democrat and a republican.
later, eddie bernice johnson, remember her, the democratic lawmaker who steered money that was supposed to help needy kids go to college, steered it into the pockets of her own relatives? she says she's taking responsibility but every time she talks about it she refuses to take the blame or even clearly explain what happened. she spoke about it again today, and her story this time is pretty stunning. and tonight, a picture of mayhem in afghanistan. with civilians killed for sport. body parts kept as souvenirs and troops in fear for their lives if anyone talked. all of that in the hour ahead, but we begin with the breaking news. rahm emanuel leaving the white house. joining me now are democratic strategist paul begala and republican strategist al lex castellanos and alex is currently advising gop campaigns and paul, of course, advises democratic campaigns. paul, what about this? rahm emanuel leaving? what do you make of it? >> oh, i think it's highly likely, anderson. he's talking to some of his close friends. i have to disclose, i'm one of them, i'm a dear friend of rahm. when rahm leaves, and i think he's pretty certain to and
likely to run for mayor, the president is going to lose his right arm. you know, the guy without rahm, i don't think we'd have health care and 30 million americans would have health care because of rahm. i don't think we would have had the wall street reforms which will be tough new rules up there on wall street. i don't think we would have had the stimulus package, now pretty unpopular with a lot of americans, but it saved millions of jobs and probably kept us from going into a great depression. the president is an able guy and will find someone to serve him but rahm has been the indispensable man. >> was he a good chief of staff or a failure? >> a good chief of staff and a moderating influence on the obama administration, known as a pragmatist and level-headed guy and after all, why wouldn't you go be mayor of chicago rather than staying in washington? you can stay politically active there even after you die so it's a great retirement system, but, no, it's going to be interesting now to see who he is replaced with, because if he's replaced
with an idealogue it will move the administration considerably to the left. if he's replaced with a panetta or posada i think you'll see someone of stature go in there and that will be another leveling influence but basically they need another rahm. >> paul, what about -- what is going on behind the scenes at the white house? is there an exodus? you have david axelrod will be leaving to start to run campaigns. you know, we've had other high-profile people leaving. summers is leaving. what's going on? mean, is this just a normal course of events? >> absolutely. >> or a cleaning of house? >> the average tenure of a senior white house official is 18 months and we're past that mark already. it's always the case at two years people turn around, and i think it's very good. it's good for this white house or for any white house. i think this president has a terrific team. there's plenty more people. even hoe i said ron is the indispensable man. i thought what charles de gaulle said about his aides. the graveyard is filled with indispensable men. all of us who have served the
president do so at a brief time and at his pleasure. >> i want to bring in john king who is on the phone and broke this story for us. what do we know? >> we know there will be an announcement on friday, anderson, and we know rahm emanuel has told close friends, i believe including that guy paul begala who is being nice to his friend there, and some other senior democrats inside the white house obviously, that he's all but certain to run and the calculation is you don't announce you're running for mayor of chicago at a press release or at event at the white house. you resign from the white house and go home to chicago and make your announcement there. a few things they need to work out but they have the shell of a campaign team in place and it looks like rahm emanuel will be gone as early as friday. a longtime obama adviser will step up as the interim chief of staff and it looks like we'll quite an interesting race for mayor of chicago. >> any idea, john, who may become permanent chief of staff? >> there's been a lot of speculation about that inside the white house. some people who could get boosted up. a lot of encouragement coming and it would be a good question for mr. begala, democrats
outside the white house, need new blood. maybe the former senate majority leader tom daschle. this has been a relatively insular group so the expectation is they will pick from within. they may look outside. some say they could make this decision after the mid-term elections where the president might have a bit more sober view. >> want to weigh in who should be it? >> who is it should be up to the president. john's reporting is spot on as far as i can discern. hate to admit that. sam names, names being bandied about, including tom daschle, the former senate majority leader, tom donlon, one of the top aides on the national security council and two that alex mentioned before, john podesta, the final chief of staff for president clinton and leon panetta who preceded john by a couple of chiefs of staff, now the cia director. these are able people. we talk about this a lot in washington all the time. the truth is staff comes and staff goes. as a staffer, you know, i always pried myself in knowing the difference between the organ grinder and the monkey, right,
and i was just the monkey and the staff monkeys come and go. >> and anderson, this is really an important moment though for the president because he's had to deal with an unruly democratic congress, you know. almost -- there's nothing worse than success in washington, and he's had to placate a congress that is led by democrats that are really a little farther to the left than the mainstream of the country. that may change in november. we'll wait and see, but if indeed republicans do capture the house, the president has a chance here to start over, to start fresh with a new chief of staff that can work with both sides of the aisle, and that -- that will be one of the tests i think that people look and see who does he appoint? >> alex, paul, stay with us. we'll come back to you in just a moment. john king, appreciate the reporting. now our keeping them honest report. politicians distorting the truth, doing whatever it takes to get your vote. five weeks away from the mid-term elections and two campaign ads distort the facts through clever editing, one belonging to a democrat and one
to a republican. calling them out. anyone who wants your vote shouldn't get it by insulting you with trickery. the first one is by alan grayson against daniel webster who he calls taliban dan. >> right here in central florida. >> why submit yourself to your own husband. >> daniel webster wants to impose his ratd cad fundamentalism on us. >> she should submit to me. that's in the bible. >> webster tried to deny battered women medical care and the right to divorce their abusers. he wants to force women of rape to have a child. >> taliban stone people do-to-death and murder american troops. this is really what passes for political discourse today and if a republican did this to a democrat liberals would be outraged. it's a low blow but what's false about this ad is the way
mr. webster's statements were ed edited, she should submit to me. we asked the context and they sent us the full statement made by mr. webster about keeping a journal and writing down verses from the bible. >> find a verse. i have a verse for my wife. i have verses for my wife. don't pick the ones that say she should submit to me. that's in the bible, but pick the ones that you're supposed to do, so instead that you love your wife, even as christ lost church and gave himself for it, and as opposed to wives submit yourself to your own husband. >> whatever you may think of mr. webster and his beliefs in politics the actual statement he's making is not the ominous command to women portrayed in grayson's commercial. the other clever editing job is on the republican side from a north carolina war veteran.
>> described by one superior as having more integrity, dedication and drive than any marine he's ever met. >> you served in gulf one and got out and got a big great job, a beautiful wife and a kid and 9/11 happened. you come home, your hair is shaved off. you're ready to head back into the war zone to help america. >> i'm alorieau pantano and i'm ready to head back to war a third time and this time it's the war for the soul of the country. >> what stone phillips said wasn't all that he said. the full line goes, described by unisuperior as having more dedication, integrity and drive and now he's charged for murder. he was indicted in the murder of two iraqis and even though it was charged for lack of evidence stone phillips wasn't praising him in the clip nor was ann curry. her clip was clipped. what she said was you've got a great job, got a great big job
at goldman sachs. apparently working at goldman sachs is something mr. pantano is something he would rather have voters not know. >> this is the second time in a way grayson's attack ads have gotten him in trouble. >> first off, you don't compare another american to the taliban. i screamed louder than anybody when saxby chambliss, the dirt bag senator, became senator by accusing max cleland, lost three limbs in vietnam and he ran an ad comparing him to saddam hussein and osama bin laden. this is not a hc of a lot better. it's right. the edit job on that speech was deeply dishonest. i think you can win on the issues if -- if the votes he cites are accurate, that's enough to run on. if the guy did oppose divorce for abused women, that's a pretty important issue. you don't need to guild the lily but misleading edits. >> by the way, there was a
covenant marriage proposal he had submitted in a state senate that got rejected and that's where they get that. alex, what about pantano's ad, the guy has served our country. why re-edit news clips? >> it's the wrong thing to do. he shouldn't have done it. he drew attention to the messenger and not to the message. he's got a good story to tell, but now he's brought his own integrity and credibility into question. shouldn't have done it. he can tell his story. you know, i don't know this candidate at all, but from what i've heard of him. here's a guy who put his life on the line for the country, who made dozens of phone calls to parents of kids in his unit to let them know that, hey, they are not coming home, so he's -- before we condemn this fellow, we should -- we should walk in his shoes for a little bit, but this was just a political mistake, and more campaigns are lost like this but overreaching than are ever won by the people who do it. >> yeah. i'm not condemning the guy has served and, you know, served
honorably and stuff and the charges were dropped for lack of evidence against him. it is just in a commercial to make it sound like stone fill since saying one thing and he's actually saying something else, just seems kind of odd. >> yeah. very odd and especially when what you're trying to sell is your integrity, and when you do have a good story to tell, tell t.draw attention to it, not to your credibility in telling it, but in regards to alan grayson, anderson, i think he is the only congressman legally required to wear a bright red nose when he's on the floor of the house. he's an unusual fellow. grayson is -- is really the howard stern of congress, and one of the things we're seeing this year is democrats are running on local issues, and they are running against, you know, the specifics of their opponent because they can't really run on national issues. they can't say president obama endorsed me. i voted for the health care plan. look what i've done for the economy. some democrats are doing it the right way, you know. they are drawing differences, whether on local issues or things like that. some democrats are doing it the
wrong way like alan grayson and ultimately, again, it's easier to lose an election than win one. this is a district that voted for obama. it may swing republican this year. >> here's what i'm looking for in this, anderson. could be interesting. will the misleading edit jobs by the two candidates, one a democrat, one a reap characters, will it hurt them? we tell you that it will because all of our vast experience tells you that. we're in a new media age, like i need to tell you. too many americans, and too many voters especially use the media like a drunk uses a lamppost. more for support than illumination. they are not interested in really getting the facts or keeping people honest. more interested in simply confirming what they already believe. >> right. >> and it may be that in this new media environment, if you're a republican, you can say anything you want and the republicans will like it and if you're a democrat, an interesting test case. >> i think -- i think the american people are, you know, they are still pretty good on juries. there's a reason we trust them and pretty good as voters and more information, even when some of it is wrong, they still manage to sort it out.
>> yeah. >> you know what grayson is doing, making a very good case of why this election is important to alan grayson. not made a very good case why voting for him is important to the voters. >> same with pantano. if the editing wasn't so dishonest i would have called a foul saying i'm going to save the soul of america in congress, please, please. the soul of america is not in congress and won't be saved by congress. >> begala called a democratic-called congress soulless. >> paul, alex, appreciate it. let us know what you think. the live chat is up right now at " ac360.com. the congresswoman who turned college money into scholarships for her family and she keeps speaking but we keep scratching our heads. we'll tell you why. mosque opponents in a courtroom today.
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new developments tonight in a scandal involving two democratic congress people and scholarships they were supposed to be awarding to needy kids. the scholarships were from the congressional black caucus foundation but it turns out for many years the congress people were awarding their family and members of their staff's family with some of the money. we have a congressman from georgia that gave seven scholarships to his stepdaughter and wife's niece and also, gave scholarships to those with tieing to his wife, who is the municipal court clerk in columbus, georgia. he said he did nothing wrong and he paid the money back though he refuses to talk about it, although we continue to invite him. congressman eddy bernice johnson, a democrat from texas, according to "the dallas morning news" gave away 23 scholarships to family and friends worth about $31,000. she's also repaid the money, but her story keeps changing. we invited her on tonight, but we're told she's not talking about it anymore. we can sort of understand why,
because every time she does talk she just raises more questions. see, in the past she said she was sorry, didn't know the rules of the scholarships and says she took full responsibility for it, but today when she spoke about it with "the dallas morning news," she not only refused to apologize she denied she broke any rules and weeks ago she blame the staff for awarding the staff to scholarship and today she was asked by the paper if anyone on the staff ever concluded they were giving money to the congresswoman's relatives? listen to what she said. >> if there had been a rule against it, it was discussed. if it had been any rule against, it it wouldn't have happened. i didn't do anything i was trying to hide. >> she just had surgery which is why she's wearing a neck brace and says if there had been a rule against, it if, she knows there was a rule against it. when we spoke with her on this program a couple weeks ago, we showed her the 2008 scholarship application. this is it. it says, and i quote, employees and/or relatives of cbc members or spouses or the cbc foundation, the board of directors are ineligible for the
scholarship program. take a look, the 2006 guidelines. it says the exact same thing, so even if she didn't know, her staff must have known because they reviewed each completed application, and her grandkids and any others who got the money they would have known because they signed the application saying they weren't relatives so even if she didn't know about the rules back then, she certainly knew today because we told her about the rules weeks ago but yet she told the paper if there were any rules, if, it's a simple fact. there clearly were rules, and she violated them. in an interview weeks ago she said she didn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to get her relatives a now dollars but since then this letter surfaced seeming to indicate she was more involved bearing her signature asking money be sent to the relatives, not the school she was going to. mrs. meek, it says, please accept the enclosed scholarship checks for preston and gregory more, her great nephews and if possible, i would like their checks to be made out to them instead of the university.
thank you in advance for your cooperation. eddie bernice johnson. listen to how she explained this today to "the dallas morning news." >> i did not sign the letter. apparently it was done from my district office. i hadn't even seen it close enough to even detect whose hand whiting it was. i just knew it was not mine. >> she says someone else signed the letter. if that's true, and less assume that's true, that means she asked someone in her office to sign the letter under her name so her relatives could get the money directly or some her office just took it upon themselves to write this letter and forge her name so her relatives could get the money y.someone on her staff would care enough to do that to award the relatives i cannot fathom. apparently miss johnson doesn't care enough about this to investigate and doesn't want to talk to us anymore about it though the invitation still stands. joining us know is melanie sloan and todd gilman who has been reporting on this who broke the story for "the dallas morning news." todd, it seems like her story
keeps changing every time she talks? >> she's offered extremery contradictory versions what have she felt was going on. she says she takes full responsibility, but then she says she didn't violate any rules. it's not really clear to me why she would have gone to the pain of cutting a $31,000 check to the foundation if she really maintains that no rules were violated. >> melanie, i mean, clearly she broke the foundation rules. what about this strikes from you an ethics standpoint? >> just so many things that strike me. the first thing that strikes me sometimes you shouldn't even need a rule. it's pretty clearly wrong to misappropriate scholarship money for kids and grandkids when it's intended for needy kids. secondly, she's clearly lying when she's coming back and saying she didn't know the rules. she didn't understand the rules. that's a lie. she's lying again when she says she didn't sign the letter. all of these things are obviously untrue, and miss johnson is just refusing to take responsibility which is what so many people are sick of in our washington politicians. we want them to take
responsibility for their actions, and we want them to exhibit the values of honesty and integrity that are so important. >> todd, also amazingly she seems to be blaming you for actually just doing this reporting and doing your job. i want to play some of what else she had to say today to your paper. >> everybody in the office knew that gilman was always looking for something negative on me, everybody. this office and the washington office. all knew that. when a national organization i belong to wrote to cnn, they said the "dallas morning news" asked them to do the story, so, you know, it was -- it is clear that it was orchestrated. >> so on the one hand she takes responsibility and on the other hand she's basically blaming you saying this is sort of part of a conspiracy. >> i -- i can attest that no -- certainly i and nobody that i'm aware of from "the dallas morning news" ever asked you or anyone from cnn to cover this story. i think you've -- >> i didn't even -- is that what she was saying because i didn't
even understand the -- >> that's exactly what she was saying. >> that's absurd. >> she was alleging we tried to engage cnn to get you to cover this story. she was blaming me, just for fun, i went back into our library. i've been with "the dallas morning news" 21 years. the first time i wrote about her was in about 1992, and i for the life of me have no idea what she's talking about where she thinks i've had a vendetta against her. it doesn't make sense, a time-honored tradition for politicians to blame the messenger but it obviates her core message that she takes responsibility. i'm not really clear how those two things jive. >> i've never met you in my life. talked to you a couple of times on tv and read your story in the paper and thought this is an amazing story and why we started to do it. no sort of collusion here. melanie, you talked to the
congressional black caucus, they said they would have an investigation but are they doing anything? it's been revealed two members of congress who belong to the congressional black caucus were misusing the new england from this? we have no idea how many more there may be, but -- but it doesn't seem like the congressional black caucus are the ones out in front revealing this stuff. >> no, they don't seem to be out in front on it, but i did go over there and i did meet with them, dr. elsie scoot after talking about this on your show a couple weeks ago and it's clear that the foundation is very troubled by this. they feel that they trusted the wrong people. they relied on congress people to follow rules, and i guess what they really need is to trust but verify so they were deeply troubled. they are auditing the system and they are thinking about ways that they can revamp their scholarship program so that it can be more appropriately monitored and can make sure that scholarships are given to the kids they intend to get them. >> todd, what are the biggest unanswered questions you would like answers to?
>> i would say the very biggest unanswered question for the congresswoman is a question which my editorial board colleagues in dallas did pose to her which is how did your grandsons and great nephews find out about this scholarship program, if not by you discussing it with them? she has yet to answer and they have yet to -- to give interviews as to how they come to find out about this, and -- and the biggest question for the foundation i think is how much more widespread this was. who reviewed the documents? who should have reviewed the documents more closely, the applications and the processes to make sure that this didn't happen. >> it seems -- anderson, let's not sanford bishop get off the hook here. he, too, has behaved outrageously in response to the scholarships awarded to people who worked with his wife, and it seems like he, too, wasn't announcing the scholarships allowing people to apply widely and both of these members are to be condemned for their actions. >> and also we should point out are not talking about it. the media was all over christine o'donnell and we were as well
for not coming forward and talking to the press. these folks are running for cover on this thing and saying they did nothing wrong and have no reason to talk about it. our invitation stands to both congressman bishop and congresswoman johnson. todd, appreciate you being on as well, melanie sloan and todd gilman. up ahead, controversial court testimony in a legal attempt to stop a mosque frequents panding in tennessee. allegations of a mosque and the threat of sharia law. here from the man making the charges and a leading scholar of islam. and when five american soldiers are accused of killing unarmed afghans told investigators.
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coming up, trouble in flight caught on tape. watch. >> stay down! heads down! stay down! >> take you inside a flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in new york over the weekend. more of the cell phone video and show you the scary moments the passenger and crew faced. first though randi kaye is featuring some other stories. anderson, harsh words from a commission investigating the government's response to the bp
oil spill. the panel said the repeated low estimates of the huge spill undermined public confidence in the entire cleanup effort. one of the co-chairs compared the botched estimates to custer's disastrous decisions at little bighorn. another co-chair said he found it disturbing that government officials still don't have a plan on how oil flow will be analyzed in future spills. in colombia county, wisconsin, a state of emergency of a levee failed along the wisconsin river. up to 100 homes could be hit by floodwaters near the city of portage. the aging levee system is under pressure after last week's heavy rains. and a california police officer is on paid administrative leave after this video surfaced showing him allegedly faking the arrest of a teenage boy he believed was having sex with his 14 year old daughter. the boy's parents made the video and we got it from the san jose mercury newspaper. on the tape the officer is heard lecturing the boy. just listen. >> growing up and being in high school, a cop's daughter is not
someone you mess around with. you're stupid. >> and there you have it. you're stupid is what he said in that lecture. >> all right. we'll check in with you for another update ahead. still ahead, new developments in the battle to stop a mosque from being built. not the one at ground zero. this is in tennessee. esit's already escalated to arson and other vandalism. a hearing in court today. we'll tell you about it. and later a disturbing story, five american soldiers accused of murdering afghan civilians for sports. cnn has obtained videotapes and interrogations. you'll hear what some of them describe they did to unarmed afghans that posed no danger. >> was he aggressive at all? >> no, not at all. >> okay. >> he wasn't a threat. age has gingko for memory and concentration plus support for bone and breast health. a great addition to my routine. [ female announcer ] one a day women's.
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back in may. protests followed. the islamic center of mur freeze probuilding the mosque which has been part of the community for the last 30 years or so. last month someone set fire to equipment parked on the construction site and that arson investigation continues and someone else targeted signs at the site. now opponents have filed a lawsuit to block the project alleging that county officials violated the laws making the project's approval void and argued the planning commission didn't properly vet the backers of the mosque who they contend may have ties to terrorist sympathizers. at a hearing today one witness accused the mosque leader of being a supporter of sharia lawyer. frank gaffney, he joins me along with the chair of the islamic studies at american university and former ambassador. you testified in court that there were red flags from a security point of view regarding the mosque. what are the red flags? >> several were introduced into evidence during the court proceedings. that speak to this issue that you've touched on which is that
the imam and others who are involved in the board of the mosque are proponents of sharia. the totalitarian program, political, military, legal program that's at odds with the constitution of the united states. in fact, has as its purpose supplanting that and that kind of seditious activity i believe is a red flag that ought to preclude it from being allowed to operate in murfreesboro or for that matter any other community in the united states. >> the idea that this imam and people have lived here in this community for many, many years and practiced in this community for decades without any problems, and, i mean, how are they trying to take over the united states from mur friesboro, tennessee? >> i don't think i suggested they are trying to take it over from murfreesboro, tennessee. i'm suggesting that it's a place like that. they are promoting a program
that is at odds with our freedoms, our form of government, our constitution, and to the extent, as we've seen in europe, for example, that this kind of agenda follows the trajectory that it has elsewhere around the world. it ultimately winds up becoming a cancer inside a society. a no-go zones are typically associated with it where the authorities dare not go. sharia law is practiced in the no-go zones and expanded in due course. and ultimately you have the groups like the muslim brotherhood with whom many of these mosques and for that matter, muslim-american organizations of any note, are associated, pursuing a mission that we know, from evidence introduced into another federal trial, is to destroy western civilization from within, and that's what's really worrying. >> ambassador ahmed, what do you make of what mr. gaffney say alleging? >> well, i think that there is
an atmosphere and a cloud of distrust and fear hanging over the muslim community, and i'm concerned about this. in fact, we have this particular mosque last year. i went with my team to colombia in tennessee where the mosque had also been firebombed so it's not just an isolated case so that's why i applaud those who have come out with a committee, a committee exclusively to defend and protect mosques throughout the united states of america and i'm privileged to be a member of this committee. >> do you believe this mosque wants to institute sharia law in the united states? >> anderson, ask yourself this question. if every muslim in the united states, which is about 2% of the population, wanted sharia -- which is not the case -- even if they wanted it, could they impose it over a population of 98% who are not muslim in a democracy? in my country where i come from, pakistan, 98% of the population is muslim. there is no sharia law.
i've been a commissioner in charge of large parts of the country. our laws are criminal and civil procedure codes derived from british colonial law which go to westminster which has influenced the u.s. constitution so the notion of sharia being implemented in america with about 2% of the population to me is mathematically absurd. >> mr. gaffney, what about that? >> i don't think he answered your question. what is, of course, the case is today the numbers of muslims in america and indeed the numbers of muslims in america that are promoting sharia are very small blessedly. this is the time to stop them from trying to move this country in a direction that we dare not have it go, if we in fact revere our constitution. >> what about the evidence that you have that the folks in murfreesboro are part of this
plot linked to the muslim brotherhood? >> i've suggested that some of the evidence was introduced in the trial. we have an imam who was trained in ali czar, the central academic institution of sharia. we have those that promote hamas through public statements. we have people associated with the mosque who, i think, make no bones about their preference for sharia. in fact, that is what the authorities of islam say they are supposed to do and this is the problem. just a second. this is the problem. what sharia commands is jihad. and in pakistan as elsewhere, we see that it's taking the form of the violent kind of jihad and, indeed, sharia law is being encroached into the pakistani system and, indeed, other systems around the world. but also, the stealth jihad and this is the real problem with places like this mosque in murfreesboro. you have this idea and most of our government is ignoring it and that's outrageous. >> the fbi, apparently, investigated the board member you're talking about there were comments made on his myspace
page and no charges were ever brought, and ambassador, just because the imam went to this university in egypt, should that be a red flag? >> of course not, anderson. it's the oldest university in the muslim world. it's a thousand years old. it's expected to teach islamic jurispruden jurisprudence. i went to a catholic school in north pakistan. does it mean i owe an allegiance to the pope? that's absurd. any university in the muslim world or catholic world would teach its own laws or laws of their particular religion. >> i think that's disingenuous. >> may i finish. if the imam violated the laws of the land or is a threat to the security of the land, the authorities should act. but unless we know he's been promoting -- and i'm not sure what the concept means "promoting the sharia." that's abstract. that's like saying promoting history or biology or math. what does promoting sharia mean? >> it's perfectly obvious.
>> when i pointed out that the total population is about 2% of the country. how can this tiny percentage impose the sharia on 98% of the population? >> unfortunately, we've got to go. >> the answer is contained in this report, shariathethreat.com. >> or read my book. >> you've been disinformed as you've just been by the ambassador right now. >> and by mr. gaffney and his scholarship. >> it's all in the facts. >> i appreciate both your perspectives. thank you. up next, did u.s. soldiers kill afghan civilians for sport? drew griffin investigates. >> i want you to tell me that this didn't happen, that this isn't true. can you? >> hear his answer and how the soldiers themselves explain what happened on interrogation tapes in tonight eats crime and punishment report. also, panic in the sky when a plane is forced to make an emergency landing. the dramatic cell phone video coming up. it's either pay their miles upcharges
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not because of what they show but because of what you hear a handful of our soldiers speak about doing. today the hearings began for the soldiers facing murder charges accused of killing three afghan civilians and the interrogation tapes you see a painted picture of a rogue band of american infantry men who smoked hash at night and killed for sport by day. their alleged ring leader, a stajt they say they fear. drew griffin investigates for tonight's "special investigation." pras >> reporter: jeremy is accused of killing three afghan civilian men. two by shooting and the third, as described to a military investigator, was literally a set-up, he says, by his platoon leader, staff sergeant calvin gibbs. >> we went to the compound, walked him out and set him in place and like, hey, stand here. >> he was fully cooperating? >> yeah. >> was he armed? >> no, not that we were aware of. >> where did he sit him? >> next to a wall.
that's where gibbs could get like behind cover after the grenade went off and then -- off over here out of line of sight. and you know, he pulled out one of his grenades, american grenade, you know, pop the it and throws the grenade and then tells me and [bleep] all right, dude, wax this guy. >> he goes on to describe two more killings, unarmed afghan civilians, picked up, stood up, shot and then blown up with a grenade. michael waddington is corporal january my morlock's civilian attorney. >> i want you to tell me that this didn't happen, that members of the military didn't go out and three afghan civilians were killed for sport. >> you have the -- you have the
from what i understand, the case file. i mean, you know what the witnesses in that file say and what they say in their videos, but i -- that's what it sounds like. >> to defend his client, mike battington will try to prove that corporal morlock already injured in two straight ied attacks was suffering from brain damage, and instead of treating him, battington says the army drugged him. >> so your defense is that your client was mentally incapacitated and the army either knew it or should have known it. >> the army knew he had been blown up in two i.d. attacks and the army chose rather than to treat him but to take his weapon, give it back to him for whatever reason and then load him up on drugs. >> the drugs shown here, distributed in plastic baggies included ammien and amitriptyline, both that contain
warnings for producing suicidal thoughts. the trouble began he says, in november of 2009 when the striker brigade got a new squad leader, staff sergeants calvin gibbs. >> when he showed up at the unit he bragged to the young soldiers underneath him, including my client, about killing innocent people in iraq. >> reporter: staff sergeant gibbs is charged in all three killings. and witnesses stated that it was this new commander who orchestrated, coerced and threatened the striker brigade to both kill afghan civilians and cover up their murders. and there is something else. the u.s. army accuses staff sergeant gibbs of collecting teeth, leg bones and fingers as souvenirs. >> did your client see those fingers? he says he did. >> according to the statement he did see that happen. >> one corporal is charged in five counts of drug abuse, possession of pictures of dead bodies and of beating a soldier who was trying to warn the army what was going on.
he says the boredom and the stress pushed this platoon to escape. >> how long did the drug use in this unit continue? >> the smoking of the hashish? >> yeah. >> probably up until about a week and a half ago. >> from the beginning until now? >> yes. >> prominently? was it around consistently or what? >> bad days, stressful days, days that we just needed an escape. >> reporter: cnn placed several calls to attorneys representing the two soldiers. calls not returned. according to the soldiers' taped interviews the drugs came from locals who laced hash with opium. >> this paints a picture of u.s. army soldiers smoking hash at night, killing afghans by day. how is it possible that if this is true, that nobody knew? in authority? nobody put a stop to it? >> that's impossible that nobody knew.
i mean, on the ground, if you have a bunch of soldiers walk you around with brain injuries that are drugged up by prescription pain killers and narcotics and smoking hash and opium on a daily basis, you would be able to know it instantly, if you have any common sense. >> one soldier did, apparently, try to warn superiors and that soldier is not charged. this corporal tells the investigators that on may 4th, the platoon, under the direction of staff sergeant gibbs went to the barracks of the man they believed was a snitch, a narc, and beat him up. >> he was asked. he wouldn't tell us why or pretty much everybody started striking. >> where was he signature before you pulled him off of that? >> on his cot. >> and then they pulled him on the floor. i didn't strike [bleep] twice. >> everybody take part in it? >> yes. sat down casually and
told [bleep] that if he snitched again he would kill him and that he has killed people before and he has no problems killing again. and at the time staff sergeant gibbs had a cloth. he opened it and dropped it and three human body fingers fell on the ground. at that point i kind of lost my head. >> anderson, i must tell you that we did reach out to the attorney for staff sergeant calvin gibbs who is being referred to on many of these tapes. those calls have not been returned to cnn. >> has the pentagon said anything about how this could possibly have happened? >> noel. we asked for an interview. no interview. the only statement we got was the pentagon questioning our release of the tapes saying it will interfere in the justice these men get. you heard about the photographs. the pentagon is very afraid that the photographs, anderson, will get out because as they have
been described to me by those who have seen them, they are almost like a hunting trophy photograph of u.s. army soldiers holding up dead afghan civilians. there is a great concern that this will turn into kind of an abu ghraib type incident if those photos get out. the military has asked all the attorneys in this case to -- to return the photographs that were released so that they can be in charge of the dissemination of those. >> i can understand their concern. drew griffin. appreciate it. delta airlines pilot hailed as a hero tonight and with good reason. take a look. >> stay down! heads down! stay down! >> plane in distress making a successful emergency landing. all captured by one passenger's cell phone video. we'll show it to you ahead. sure i'd like to diversify my workforce,
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quick checks of some of the other stories. randi kaye has the stories. randi? >> reporter: president barack obama signed a $42 billion bill that he says will help small businesses create jobs. the new law provides billions in tax credits and creates a 30 billion fund for banks to make loans to small businesses. southwest airlines is buying airtran, its low-cost competitor. airtran will adopt southwest's name and its no fees policies. in return, southwest will gain a foothold in airtran's major destinations like atlanta, washington and new york. >> down, stay down! heads down! stay down. >> and some very frightening moments aboard a delta airlines jet on saturday night as it was forced to make an emergency landing at new york's jfk airport. all captured on that cell phone video. the flight originated in atlanta and was bound for white plains new york when it developed landing gear problems. despite those sparks from the right wing, no one was injured
and the pilot was hailed as a hero for touching down safely. amazing, anderson, that someone has the presence of mind to take out their cell phone and start recording that instead of assuming the crash position. >> scary stuff. i assume they were in the crash position as well as shooting. >> maybe just holding it. there you go. >> ahot more coming up at the top of the hour, including big breaking news about the almost certain departure of president obama's closest political confidant. ♪ i love my grandma. i love you grandma. grandma just makes me happy. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package.